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Does the international community have the responsibility to protect - Essay Example

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In the continent of Africa, the efforts of the international community to assist in the maintenance of internal security and peace have suffered several setbacks. A case in point was the Rwanda genocide in which there was an exceptional scale of devastation. …
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Does the international community have the responsibility to protect
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Download file to see previous pages In 2005, world leaders at the UN Summit backed the Responsibility to Protect principle, which ascertains the mandate of the states to protect their populations against war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and genocide. In most parts of Africa, a lot has to be done before the principle is put into practice as indicated by the Sudan Darfur’s humanitarian disaster. The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty first presented the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in 2001 to the international community. This came out of the desire to alleviate preventable tragedies like those in Rwanda and Bosnia, which made headlines in the world during the 1990s. With the R2P doctrine, the international community has started to conceptualize and recognize its mandate to intervene in circumstances where the states are unwilling or incapable of protecting civilians, and stop or prevent massive human rights abuses in their borders. R2P has offered a basis for discussions concerning the creation of African security architecture. Core to R2P is the requirement by the third parties to have the ability for effective and timely intervention in crises. (Besada 2010, p xviii). Case Study on Two African States in The 1990s Burundi Introduction After ten years of civil war and several years of post-independence fighting, Burundi is making progress in post-conflict peace building and recovery. The circumstances in Burundi did not get to full-scale genocide, and this is mainly attributed in part, “to early and long-term involvement on the part of regional and international actors including UN, African state governments, and NGOs” (Human Rights Center 2007, p89). The international and regional responses to the Burundi crisis are a clear indication of how R2P has been used before to alleviate, and respond to major ethnic violence and reconstruct societies in its outcome (Human Rights Center 2007, p89). Background to the Conflict Burundi has a long and a sophisticated history concerning its violent conflict. The most recent cycle of violence happened in 1993 when Melchior Ndadaye was murdered by Tutsi-dominated army leading to open warfare between the military and the Hutu rebels. Melchior Ndadaye was the leader of FRODEBU (Hutu Front pour la Democratie au Burundi) and the first president to be elected democratically in Burundi. The resulting ethno-political violence claimed the lives of approximately 300,000 Burundians (civilians were the majority) and displaced millions. Several African leaders including Nelson Mandela (former South African President), Julius Nyerere (former Tanzanian President), and Jacob Nzuma (the current South African President) have sought a lasting solution to the conflict. The efforts to end to the conflict began in 2000 Arusha Agreement, which was signed by the government, the National Assembly, and17 Burundian political leaders. However, the main rebel groups, PALIPEHUTU-FNL (Parti pour la Liberation du Peuple Hutu – Forces Nationales de Liberation), and CNDD-FDD (Conseil National pour la Defense de la Democraite – Forces pour la Defense de la Democraite) did not sign the agreement. The agreement also failed to offer ceasefire agreements, which were consequently negotiated between the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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